Simple php date formatting for humans
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PHP Stamp

Simple date formatting for humans. Based on the ruby package of the same name, stamp allows you to easily format dates without having to remember arcane arguments to pass to date().


Stamp should be fully functional, it passes all the tests that it's ruby cousin does. The code needs a bit of cleanup but it is perfectly usable as is.


Stamp works by parsing the example string and building up an array of formatting objects for each part of the example. This obviously involves creating multiple objects and is thus a heavier solution than just using php's date() function. But, as with most development tools, the tradeoff for slightly decreased performance is easier development.

To help with performance, the parser is cached per example string. You should only create one Stamp object per view/page and reuse it for each date format. Stamp will cache each example string parser so that if you loop through a set of dates and format each using the same example, the example will only be parsed once.

On my MacBook Pro stamp can format 10,000 different dates (using different example strings) in about 0.75 seconds and can format 10,000 different dates (using the same example string) in about 0.2 seconds.


  • Adhere to PSR-2 standards
  • Internationalisation?


Stamp can be loaded using the Composer autoloader or an autoloader of your choice.

Usage is simple:

$stamp = new Stamp\Stamp();
$stamp->stamp("August 14th 2012", time()); // February 9th 2013
$stamp->stamp("04/23/2012 @ 4:13PM (Saturday)", time()) // 02/09/2013 @ 10:50AM (Sunday)

For a more complete list of examples, check out the Test Suite


There are some instances where it will be difficult to guess what your example really means, so it is best to supply example strings that are not ambiguous. For example the following example will fail if you intend it to be mm/dd/yyyy:

$stamp->stamp("4/5/2012", time());

The reason for this is that the information provided makes it impossible to distinguish between m/d/y or d/y/m since both single digit values are valid for both month or day. To avoid this it is best to supply example days > 12 and example months < 12.